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Nicole Scherzinger: One Direction are "little buggers"
Nicole Scherzinger at the X Factor launch
X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger jokingly branded boyband One Direction "little buggers" for not sending her flowers.
The former Pussycat Doll was instrumental in the formation of the group during the 2010 series of ITV1's talent show. Back then, the lads had originally auditioned as five solo singers.
Following praise for her part in their success, she joked: "Those little buggers! I haven't received flowers yet from them - I'm waiting!"
"It feels like yesterday since we were auditioning"
She then stated: "It's crazy to see how massive they are - they just performed at the Olympics. It feels like yesterday since we were auditioning them and I was like, 'let's put them together'. It feels wonderful to have had a helping hand in that."
The boyband have enjoyed chart success on both sides of the Atlantic; their first album went straight to number one on the billboard chart and they're followed everywhere by hordes of screaming fans.
Looking every inch the glamour queen for the show's ninth series launch, Nicole returns to the role that won her acclaim back in 2010. It led to a stint on the American version of the franchise. However, alongside host Steve Jones and fellow judge Paula Abdul, she was dropped by Simon Cowell at the end of the first season.
But it had been an "easy decision" to return to the UK: "England is my second home; it feels great here. I've had a warm reception from all the other judges and my fans here are the best."
Commenting further on the move, the singer said: "It fits in perfectly with everything going on in my life right now. This is where I got my start with the X Factor family; I was so well received here so I hope I don't mess it up this time!"
"In the UK they are a little bit more singer-songwriterly and folkier."
Nicole, who was born in Hawaii, has noticed key differences between UK and US X Factor auditionees: "Typically in the US, we have big diva singers like Mariah, Whitney, like Melanie Amaro who won [X Factor USA] last year and in the UK they are a little bit more singer-songwriterly and folkier."
Expanding on the subject, she added: "You've got a lot of wit, a lot of character, a lot of storytelling that they bring to the table when they're performing and when they're writing so it's not so much about the big voices, it's more about the character and the tone of their voices here."
Nicole is loving everything X Factor, including judges Tulisa Contostavlos, Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow: "I've always had an affinity for Louis because he the first one there when I came into the whole family. And Gary's lovely; he's such a lovely human, he's got a special place in my heart as well. And Tulisa - we get on really, really, well. I really adore her."
She insists viewers will be impressed with this ninth series of X Factor: "You've real talent. Real, raw, authentic, original talent as opposed to 'what? How did they get in there?'"
X Factor starts Saturday 18 August at 8pm on ITV1
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